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WiredRacing
08-29-2011, 02:15 PM
I mean clean. Mint meaning Mint. No surface rust, no perforations, no bubbling. Nothing broken, no leaks. Road worthy with many many years left in her. Preferably not painted, but if painted, before photos, no bondo, must have cut out the rust and welded new metal in...

I've been watching the board and kijiji/trader for almost 2 months now and other than 1 325sedan (silver/grey.. not my first choice) I haven't seen anything clean go up for sale. Well a couple nice looking coupes but I don't want to suck myself into selling a coupe (RSX) just to buy another coupe.

So.. what I'm trying to do is get all you tasteful E30 owners to post up your babies and then try to figure out which one of you is going to sell me their car. :)

I've checked Vegas, I've checked florida. And there is one I could eat off of in Florida, but by the time it's landed it'll cost me a small fortune.

I'd prefer a cabrio, but a sedan has it's uses too. Manual transmission is a must.

Show me the minty-fresh bling before I bitch out and buy a 272whp Miata from a friend.

I get the impression a proper clean example would go for around 6K. I would pay more if the stars align.

Or am I dreaming and every time someone gets their car perfect, something else breaks. Tell me I should be avoiding an old german car. That it's a money pit. That they don't drive all that well to begin with.

El Gato Liso
08-29-2011, 02:19 PM
phuck e30s

daveed
08-29-2011, 02:38 PM
They ARE money pits, but even if you buy one and put several grand into it making it somewhat like new again you are still getting what many people want for relatively cheap - light, stylish, well built, RWD, independent suspension, decent power for an older car (if you have an m20b25 or m42). That being said, if I lived in the rust belt there is no ****ing way I would drive an older car.

jeremy
08-29-2011, 02:51 PM
How much is the one in Florida?

Ceeker
08-29-2011, 03:25 PM
GL finding one. the only way you will if it was rebuilt from ground up or a Garage queen from pretty much day one. We're talking 20+ year old cars that were pretty much daily drivers. If you go states side you can find a rust free car BUT! don't expect it to be the "queens plate silverware."

contrary to some of the comments; if you don't mind spending a bit more on gas since the engine management system isn't all the sophisticated it is better built then most newer cars and more reliable then most. and NO they aren't money pits. Be realistic. 20+ year old parts and nothing is going to come up for replacement?

Be prepared to spend some money to get them to reasonable condition. Spend smart. Fix what is most important. if you buy one in exception cond you will still need to service the car. Knowing where to find good quality parts and someone to fix it is key. Unless you DIY.

and for those looking for the "pie and the sky" deal. get real. the barn yard find so to speak is everyone's dream. Finding that 10 Karat diamond and paying nothing for it? the car will be extinct btt you do find one.

are you looking for an investment or are you looking for enjoyment or both?

there is good reason as to why they are still on the road..

WiredRacing
08-29-2011, 03:27 PM
How much is the one in Florida?

$7350 and it's burgundy.. which I could put up with.. if it was only $7350 for it to end up in my driveway. :)

Ceeker
08-29-2011, 03:34 PM
$7350 and it's burgundy.. which I could put up with.. if it was only $7350 for it to end up in my driveway. :)

btt it is shipped up -container - 800-1000 plus taxes and transfer across border you're looking at about 1200.00. generally prices states side are cheaper as I have looked plenty. So 7350 better get you a hot porn star with it so that you two can make out on the hood...LOL

WiredRacing
08-29-2011, 03:44 PM
If you go states side you can find a rust free car BUT! don't expect it to be the "queens plate silverware."

...

Be realistic. 20+ year old parts and nothing is going to come up for replacement?

...

there is good reason as to why they are still on the road..

I suppose my post is a bit misleading as to what I'm looking for/expect. I'm just want to see proof that excellent E30's exist. :)

I don't mind wrenching. I can swap engines, it's no biggie. But trying to find one that isn't full of holes (or about to be full of holes) with a bunch of other issues (many prohibiting a safety certificate) means I'm buying a headache out of the box.

I'm looking for one that's not a headache out of the box. Body work is the most time consuming and the most expensive from my perspective (no welding skills).

But also keep this in mind. I had a 92 Civic VX with over 300K on it.. I smacked the snot out of that bitch at the track, I had it for .. I dunno 4 or 5 years. The only thing that went bad on it was a cold solder joint on the fuel relay switch (happens to most of them). Engine/tranny swap is same day and $400 for each part. Now I don't expect that from the E30, but I don't expect far from it either. RWD is nice, but I can go awfully quick in FWD too.

Price wise, there are many good, light, reasonably peppy cars you can get for this kind of money (6-7K for 'clean') or less. I like the look of the E30's. I wouldn't mind driving a "classic" car (I wouldn't put more than 5K on it a year I'm sure). But so far my search has shown a lot of problem cars and almost none that are ready for the road (cert/etest).

Anyhow I'd like to go this route, but it just looks like it may be more trouble than it's worth. I haven't seen much of an indication that these cars are any more reliable than anything else that actually survived since the late 80's. I mean okay.. so they're still on the road.. but for how long. I think I'm getting into the game at the tail end of their life now. Anyhow I could be wrong.. hence the post. Where's the sick cars people haven't spent 10, 20, 30K more into?

Magical Unicorn indeed. :)

WiredRacing
08-29-2011, 03:54 PM
So 7350 better get you a hot porn star with it so that you two can make out on the hood...LOL

Well that's kinda my point. Landed I'm pushing 10K at best, probably more like 12K after it's all said and done. If I'm spending 10 I'm looking at a different kind of car, I'd probably grab an MR-S (already imported) at that price.

Anyhow if I'm going to keep/maintain a classic car. I'd like to start from a good base. I don't have the time to restore a car. I can fix it mechanically but even then I need it to actually run. No imminent catastrophic failures. :)

Still hoping someone has something enticing available... there just seems to be a bit of a chasm from what I want to what's available.

daveed
08-29-2011, 06:38 PM
Come to BC and you can buy mine for eight grand :) ... I bought it for a little over four and have done a lot of maintenance.

bimmer30
08-29-2011, 07:24 PM
Come to BC and you can buy mine for eight grand :) ... I bought it for a little over four and have done a lot of maintenance.

8 grand is a brand new car, isn't that an m3 you got?

WiredRacing
08-29-2011, 08:03 PM
Daveed: Show me.

8K for a new car? Is that like Mint = only a little rust with just one crack in the dash (not that replacing a dash is hard or expensive)? :)

njansenv
08-29-2011, 08:04 PM
They ARE out there. Find someone's baby: something that someone spent a lot of money "getting right". Odds are, you'll pick it up for way less then they put into it.
I found a great daily that had been imported from Texas. 80k miles, $2100. It was auto, but that's not too hard to fix. The body and undercarriage were MINT and it ran like a million bucks...the A/C even worked great.

WiredRacing
08-29-2011, 08:18 PM
Ah yes, Texas, I totaly forgot to check there, I have friends that live there now. I could probably even get them to vet 1 or 2 before making a financial commitment on it.

Yes.. still based on the rarity of E30's in south florida (3 on trader) and vegas (2), I'm not holding my breath. (yeah I tried ebayclassifieds and craigslist... pickings are slim and I'm spending waaaay too much time on this as it is)

njansenv
08-29-2011, 08:21 PM
I'd try r3vlimited.com and e30tech.com for an enthusiast owned car. While you're less likely to get a deal buying a "grandma car", it's easier to figure out the car's history.

daveed
08-29-2011, 08:33 PM
Daveed: Show me.

8K for a new car? Is that like Mint = only a little rust with just one crack in the dash (not that replacing a dash is hard or expensive)? :)

You can't get a new car for eight grand. Maybe a Korean or American sub-compact for over twelve grand lol.

My dash isn't cracked. And I'm not serious about selling it... what could I get for eight grand that would be better?

http://i1206.photobucket.com/albums/bb446/tdrc87/P7245602small.jpg

http://i1206.photobucket.com/albums/bb446/tdrc87/P6195276_smaller.jpg

http://i1206.photobucket.com/albums/bb446/tdrc87/P6195270_smaller.jpg

dble Trouble
08-29-2011, 08:54 PM
I'm sorry but for a super minty body, meaning NO rust, not some, but NO rust, and mechanically sound meaning all of the rubber bushings, and ball joints and tie rods and so on were replaced, $6000 is not realistic. $8g's maybe, but not $6g's, if you find one for that price let me know and I'll buy it!

WiredRacing
08-29-2011, 09:18 PM
I'm only going on what I've seen others suggest (6-6.5). I figure 7 is Top 10%.

Anyhow show me some 8K ones. :)

Something like Daveed's (from the pics anyhow) is what I'm looking for. A spot of surface rust or a couple mechanical things on car like that is okay if the price is right.

BTW, I wasn't suggesting *your* dash was cracked.. I was just saying buying a new car for 8 grand (something someone else said) is about as true as a car listed as 'mint' with rust and cracked plastic interior.

Annnyhow. :)

I have looked at e30tech and the first couple pages. It's a mixed bag. I'll try the other site.

I'd still prefer to buy in Canada though (for the obvious reasons).

jasonbaek
08-29-2011, 11:16 PM
http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?5378303-WTT-1991-BMW-E30-M50-swap-for-your-early-MKI-2-doors-Rabbit

check this out.. it's bit expensive but i think it's worth a try.

desmo
08-29-2011, 11:28 PM
In the past few months I've seen two of the "cleanest" E30's up on ebay. One is there right now, 32,xxx miles on a E motor and it has NOT cleared reserve after 47 bids and $15,000. wow.

A month ago a 325is with 60miles sold from a classic car dealer I think for the same price.


Coming back to earth, I own the cleanest E30 that I have seen presonally. Mostly because its super low km's (103), and the original owner had it untill March2010. I firmly believe that there is NO rust on the car because it hasnt been winter driven since '91, but I have not pulled the carpets completely; the underbody has had a liberal amount of rust protection on it from day one. BUT even this car isnt perfect, it still has flaws, the odd little noise now and then, A/C needs a charge, could use a muffler too :)

Anyhow, you can look at a few pics in my album that I really should update.

WiredRacing
08-30-2011, 01:05 AM
*cough*

Yeah 15K is show-car territory.

I just want reasonable.. problem is it seems my reasonable is at a much higher level than most others 'good'. Frankly 90% of the E30's I've seen listed should all be considered "Project" cars. They just require too much effort (and probably nearly twice the asking price) to be reasonable. They're "new hobby" territory.

Desmo, that does look pretty clean. But I don't mind the few 'flaws'. Those are just things that you haven't gotten around to.. that aren't a big deal. AC charge is $150 and an hour of your time, it's also common to ever car. IT'd be like saying "it's due for a timing belt change". It's just when you see cars up for sale where the owner clearly gave up on the car YEARS ago. :) They're selling it more or less because it's become such a hassle for them.. so they're trying to pass off their headaches.

Anyhow that one of VWVotex.. yeah spicy asking and I'm not even a fan of how it sits. But it's nice and shiny. A coupe though which is a last resort.

Anyhow photos are one thing too.. a car I looked at today.. one photo of it.. and it looked pretty good. Acceptable. The description was frank but it was certainly being very generous. When I saw it in person, the motor is leaking, the diff is leaking, there's way more rust than is mentioned, ducttape is holding the bumper together, the spoiler on the trunk, the dash is cracked, motor is misfiring, seats are dirty, trunk is full of junk and dirty, the rear window in the top is yellow and has a big tear in the middle of it. No insurance on the car, been sitting since Oct. Just redflag after redflag, after redflag. I wouldn't donate the car to someone, let alone let someone pay for it.

Basically if it had a roof, it would be questionable if it was any good for even ice racing.

But I digress. I'll have to start broadening my search (considering autos). But yeah if anyone comes across something, I would really appreciate the heads up. There's a couple on kijiji I should have a look at, and actually a handful of people from here I've pm'd to try to see their car and no response.

calegrant
08-30-2011, 01:59 AM
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b272/clgrnt/DSCN0531.jpg

16k and it's yours :)

davericher20
08-30-2011, 02:19 AM
^^niiiiice
Dave is that you over there? or is that Dave's old car?

WiredRacing
08-30-2011, 08:14 AM
That's certainly a nice motor in that touring.

There is that one E30 touring for sale that the owner has prtty much fixed every piece of rust he could find on it. It's tempting. It'd be a good base. Though as I already have an X1... it would feel a little redundant.

There's an M5 for sale for 9k as-is, 10500 cert/etested.. claims not a spec of rust. That would be a nice way to spend 10K. But I really don't wanna spend 10K.

njansenv
08-30-2011, 08:25 AM
I'm sorry but for a super minty body, meaning NO rust, not some, but NO rust, and mechanically sound meaning all of the rubber bushings, and ball joints and tie rods and so on were replaced, $6000 is not realistic. $8g's maybe, but not $6g's, if you find one for that price let me know and I'll buy it!

Really? They're worth that much? I'll throw an M50 in mine and you can have it for 8g's, no question.:D

dble Trouble
08-30-2011, 09:27 AM
^^Throw an M50 in there and I wouldn't give 2g's for it.^^

lost
08-30-2011, 10:14 AM
Peoples view of clean differ so significantly, especially when everyone has an emotional attachment to a car and a financial investment that it seems not matter how big of a pile the car may be that when it comes time to sell it is suddenly 'clean'. I see so many e30's for $3k to $6k that I wouldn't pay $1k for.

I was impulsive and and bought my touring sight un-seen and had it shipped up to me. I did the calcs and based on what it had and what it was the price point seemed ok, especially since the previous owner said over and over upon question that the car was mint and rust free.

Well the rust however not alot was free but the car was not anywhere near mint in my eyes. $2.5k later and it was saftied and on the road, put about 150kms on it and pulled it back off when I put it up on my lift to fab up a new exhaust. Being the individual I am and believing that rust needs to be cut out and replaced with new metal, I began the process.

I have one small hole in the firewall left that will be fixed when I pull the carpet again.

I have no problem doing the cutting and welding and infact quite enjoy it, just lack time. The mechanical and electrical however is not so much fun.

Currently the car is nowhere near mint in my eyes, but the body is almost rust free now, and if it doesn't move soon I'll keep it and plug away over the winter as time permits so come spring it will be mint and I'll dd it.

Goodluck in your search, but it seems most of these cars have been messed with or messed up in one way or another.


There was a metal bumpered cab I saw a few months ago on the front of someones driveway that from the road and 20ft away looked mint and stock. They would put it out in the morning and move it to the garage at night. If I go by there I'll see what the details are.

WiredRacing
08-30-2011, 10:34 AM
That's be awesome. Thanks.

While I don't disagree that peoples emotional attachment and financial investment with it effect their mental state. It really only takes asking yourself a few questions to figure out what the reality is.

For me on the RSX I'm selling, I can't get people to come look at it (280+ k scares'em away). If you look on the trader, the price for that car varies wildly and that's with people at 180K. I know my car is clean. It's not mint, the hood will eventually start to show surface rust and I've recently "repaired" the rear 1/4's which look a whole lot better than rust and should certainly stop it for a number of years if my past 1/4panel job is any indication (5 years and it still looks good (friend bough the car). So I dropped the price. Got one guy out.. and he says he'll think about it then lowballs me. There's no way he will find a better car for the price. He may find one with less km's on it, or me may be willing to spend another grand or two for less perceived hassle. But in the end, there are no surprises when you come to look at that car. It doesn't need a thing and everything works, even the tires are fresh. The price is fair... but I'm sure I'm going to have to drop the price a bit more again to get enough volume to see it to finally sell it. Basically I have a car that's between average and mint. I can't demand "mint" dollars so I'll have to suffer for eveyrone else lowering the bar so much. :)

Like I'll get messages from people who haven't even seen it saying "the most I'll pay is $3800" or "4K, miles are too high". Course this car properly maintained should easily do another 120K on that motor/tranny. That's 4-5 years of average use.

Problem is, like a number of the guys here selling their E30's... I don't NEED to sell it, and there's a price point where it makes more sense to keep it.

But the car is so impractical for my situation and since I have patience to sell it, I can slowly move the price to hope I can get top dollar for it, as I believe it's condition deserves the higher end of the range for the car (4225 wholesale, 6225 retail).

Still.. if I found an E30 in the condition my RSX is in. I'd likely snap it up in a second.

Anyhow I appreciate your guys opinions on this. And it does seem for the most part, this is more a game for someone a little more passionate about the car than I think I am. I could still get lucky, but I can only spend so much time looking for one to where I might as well have bought the first one and just fixed it. If my time isn't money these days, it's a consumer of patience and stress which feel like they carry the same value to me at this time. :) I just feel like i could be playing with fire here. We'll see how I feel once I close this current car and see what the RSX does over the coming weeks.

Bullet Ride
08-30-2011, 10:37 AM
^^throw an m50 in there and i wouldn't give 2g's for it.^^

lol :D

njansenv
08-30-2011, 11:07 AM
^^Throw an M50 in there and I wouldn't give 2g's for it.^^

Prefer the M20? (serious question: I know it's OT, but I'm curious) You're basically saying you'd pay 4k MORE for an M20 car?
I'm currently getting ready to build a 3.0 M50, and I'm curious about what you don't like about the engine.
If I could get 6-8k for my (perfectly rust free, top to bottom) sedan with an M20 (like you suggested), I'd jump at the chance.

lost
08-30-2011, 12:24 PM
I see where your coming from.

In all honesty I could care less if my touring were to move. I'm just as content picking away at it here and there especially for the money I'm asking. But like you with a little one, work, school, time is scarce. I'd also really like to spend my limited time building the 76 & 79 mini sitting in my garage.

I'm sure something will pop up sooner or later.

411
08-30-2011, 07:41 PM
I guess it's my turn to post, "killer clean euro IX'....I guess price would start around
6K....."no rust euro import 200k , well maintained"....yup it's "automatic" [that can be changed].....I currently own "all the bells &whistles"..Ei:...Mtech II "gitch"...custom interiors...."staggered wheels"...BBS asst wheels....."got lots of stuff to put together "DREAM CAR"*wave*

411
08-30-2011, 07:44 PM
I see where your coming from.

In all honesty I could care less if my touring were to move. I'm just as content picking away at it here and there especially for the money I'm asking. But like you with a little one, work, school, time is scarce. I'd also really like to spend my limited time building the 76 & 79 mini sitting in my garage.

I'm sure something will pop up sooner or later.

By the way......"the "LOST" deal....is*th-up*......certainly a gr8t value...from a gr8t guy to
deal with*wave*

lost
08-30-2011, 08:44 PM
By the way......"the "LOST" deal....is*th-up*......certainly a gr8t value...from a gr8t guy to
deal with*wave*

Thanks 411, also great to deal with and very knowledgeable when it comes to all things e30. Haven't seen pics of your ix before, and looks great!! slap on the m-tech II!!

richie_s999
08-30-2011, 09:58 PM
Prefer the M20? (serious question: I know it's OT, but I'm curious) You're basically saying you'd pay 4k MORE for an M20 car?
I'm currently getting ready to build a 3.0 M50, and I'm curious about what you don't like about the engine.
If I could get 6-8k for my (perfectly rust free, top to bottom) sedan with an M20 (like you suggested), I'd jump at the chance.

I think what he may be saying is that all that work to put a motor in that has almost the same power and performance is a waste, m52 or better would be worth is though.

calegrant
08-30-2011, 10:30 PM
^^niiiiice
Dave is that you over there? or is that Dave's old car?


Nope, I'm the new owner and this is my third euro e30. Car never really went up for sale...just changed hands between friends for a reasonable price.

dble Trouble
08-30-2011, 11:14 PM
Prefer the M20? (serious question: I know it's OT, but I'm curious) You're basically saying you'd pay 4k MORE for an M20 car?
I'm currently getting ready to build a 3.0 M50, and I'm curious about what you don't like about the engine.
If I could get 6-8k for my (perfectly rust free, top to bottom) sedan with an M20 (like you suggested), I'd jump at the chance.

My comments were not directed to the engine but rather than swapping out an OEM engine, with a newer generation engine. The questions start to arise, like why? Did the engine blow? Why did it blow was it not maintained? Hence was the rest of the car, was it abused? Who did the transplant? Was it a licensed mechanic at a reputable shop? Where did the engine come from? Was it rebuilt? What was the mileage on the engine put in? Can you verify it? How do I know the document is legit and not tampered with? Was the engine put in by you and your buddies? Are any of you qualified? How did you deal with the wiring? Are any of you professionally trained? Or how many times have your mechanic done this swap? Are they trained? Why the M50 which barely makes any more power than an M20? and not an S50 or S52? Doing it because of cost? Why? You can't afford a better engine? So you can't afford to treat your car properly either then? and so on and so on? Not to mention the M50 is a big fail motor in the E30, not one has been able to beat my stock M20 in a drag race stock for stock. So why bother?

Ceeker
08-30-2011, 11:26 PM
Well said. :-)

njansenv
08-30-2011, 11:38 PM
lol. Ok then.
Of course, if it had an M20, there would be no history supporting that it was original, or well taken care of, or whether it had accurate mileage or or or. Shrug. Each to his own. I've seen enough "licensed mechanics" who are hacks, and back yard hobbiest's who's work is flawless...so I won't comment on those points...or the M50 vs. M20 pissing contest for that matter, there's plenty of fodder elsewhere on the internet.

I will say, the M50 starts to shine with mods - the head just flows better. Stock for stock, sure.

dble Trouble
08-30-2011, 11:43 PM
It's an easy check serial number of engine to match with serial number of car. And you're right about hack jobs, but the point is when a car is not original it loses it's value.

About the M50 M20 pissing contest, you will LOSE. What's the point of all of that work for equal results? Yeah yeah I know it makes 189 hp to the 168 hp of the M20 and that the torque values are equal, I also know that the M50 weighs slightly more and it's more about the power curve. Not to mention, you cannot really feel 20hp gain a good launch in an M20 can make a bigger difference. If you're spending the time and money, it's just a waste and fail.

njansenv
08-30-2011, 11:45 PM
Who said anything about a stock M50? ;)
How many M20's are making 220+ whp?
Some cars certainly lose value when modified, but some don't. 2002's come to mind, and the E30 is in the same boat IMHO: a well-modified and executed car will be worth more than a bog-stocker. These aren't hemi cuda's. The market could change in the future, but the current 2002 market doesn't support that theory and I have little reason to believe that it will prove to be true for the E30 (swapped and well modified cars generally hold their values very well). Of course, I suppose I could've kept the auto to make it "numbers matching" :P

egye30
08-31-2011, 01:03 PM
i found my 1990 325i 5spd e30 sitting at the bottom of some old man's driveway with a for sale sign this year and my eyes started to glow because ive loved e30s since my childhood, its deff one of the cleaner e30's i've seen around, its a 90 that he bought in 94, making me the 3rd real owner, maintained religiously as he worked at a car dealership, even the A/C works, and i kid you not, the very first day i brought it out for its first wash, i already had an e46 guy asking me "hey buddy, you looking to sell that", and ever since then i been getting that ALOT everywhere i go.. never really knew how big the demand was for that car until i bought mine..

Ceeker
08-31-2011, 01:09 PM
Stock is always worth more then modified. BECAUSE as John stated. You don't know anything about the car. The more stock it is the less shit you have to find out. Know what to look for and ask for proof. the less proof. the better bargaining chip you have. when you find it you'll know. Personally, "modded" cars are NOT tastefully done and most I've seen are hack jobs and corners cut and wiring all over the place. that doesn't warrant a premium because the guy who owns it feels he invested a certain amount of money.

Dollar for dollar, factory original and well maintained is always worth more. Because you have a solid clean base to start with.

with that being said; a sucker is born......and a toilet seat for every ass in this world...BUYER BE WARE!

nonlocal
09-01-2011, 05:54 PM
Car looks great on those wheels, 411.

WiredRacing
09-01-2011, 06:18 PM
a well-modified and executed car will be worth more than a bog-stocker

No it's not.

Sure some may sell for more, but that's because you spent more. You're losing more money.

And quite frankly a professionally restored car would beat them both out (unless you strapped a jet engine to your well-modded and executed car).

For resale value, you can work on the car, but you have to restore it with OE parts and document it (case and point.. E30 M3's). Otherwise you're losing money with every part you put on it and every day you're not driving it into the ground.

njansenv
09-01-2011, 07:12 PM
I agree that you'd be loosing money...but that has nothing to do with whether the car is worth more or not. Spend 10k on a great swap, and the car will be worth more than stock..not 10k more, but "worth more". In my opinion, a well executed modified car includes lots of documentation and pictures that demonstrate the quality of work.

If it sells for a higher price, it's worth more. That's exactly what it means.

Higher selling price != higher return. Obviously. I've seen plenty of clean, well modified E30's sell into the 10k range...but very, VERY few stock ones. Value is dictated by the market.

njansenv
09-01-2011, 07:42 PM
Let me explain further:
Absolutely mint, rust free stock auto bronzit sedan = $2000. Yeah, you could "restore" it, but you wouldn't get much for it.
Professionally paint it alpine (with evidence that there was no rust repair), update the suspension with GC coilovers, S52 swap it while converting to 5-speed. There is NO QUESTION that it will sell for more than when it was stock. No, the seller won't make money, but it's still worth more. If I had to guess, the car would be $5-8k, depending on documentation and details.

Another: stock brown squaretail 2002 would be worth more if it was Inka, had an S14 (w/history), the right suspension and Panasports.

Another: 325it with full M3 swap? (One of my many automotive fantasies) Worth WAY more than if it was stock.

S52 swapped M3? Not worth more than a clean stock M3...but it's a different market.

E30's are great cars, but not all of them are some sort of collectors item that needs to be numbers matching.

You say a stock auto bronzit sedan is worth more stock than well modified...well, ok...no big deal.....but the market doesn't agree with you. :P

If you said "a stock car is a better buy" or "I prefer unmolested cars", I'd totally agree.

voluted
09-01-2011, 11:58 PM
About the M50 M20 pissing contest, you will LOSE. What's the point of all of that work for equal results? Yeah yeah I know it makes 189 hp to the 168 hp of the M20 and that the torque values are equal, I also know that the M50 weighs slightly more and it's more about the power curve. Not to mention, you cannot really feel 20hp gain a good launch in an M20 can make a bigger difference. If you're spending the time and money, it's just a waste and fail.

Personally, the entire swap experience (from research to execution) was extremely rewarding once completed. I really enjoyed spending my time refreshing my new motor and eventually swapping it in the m42's place. To argue the only motors worth swapping are s5x is a bit ridiculous since they cost much more to swap in properly (engine alone is 2k+). I broke even money wise with my swap after parting out my M42 online. I'll admit though, if I had an m20 to begin with I doubt I would have done the swap. As far as speed goes: iv'e been able to consistently win vs my friend with a 2010 Cooper S in 1/4 mile by a couple car lengths. Unfortunately I don't know anyone with an e30 so I can't compare to an M20, but statistically the cooper S is faster than a stock m20 e30. Similar story vs my other friend's e36 328i coupe. Who were you dragging against? :confused: If anyone with an e30 is around Richmond Hill area I would love to compare motors one day ;).

OT talk aside, I would always prefer a clean stock e30 over a swapped car unless I had access to a full build thread/stack of receipts and pictures so I could make sure things were done properly with quality parts. Don't buy a Miata :(.

El Gato Liso
09-02-2011, 03:31 AM
i'd like to say

my m20 was a beautiful engine. i miss its sound. i did an m50 swap because i wanted to...there was nothing wrong with my m20

and i must say, my m50 pulls so much harder than the m20....and im sure my car duplicated, just with an m20, the m50 will dominate off the line and through out!

and of course, when you all say m50, you're talking about m50TU, not M50. right?

Ceeker
09-02-2011, 05:05 AM
For 20 more horse power and a bit more torque and the cost of the swap you could have rebuilt your M20 and with a wee bit more $ got as much, if not more power to the rear wheels and it would still look stock. Secondly, you'd avoid the headache of collecting and finding everything necessary to make the swap happen. thirdly the car is still worth more because it was kept ORIGINAL!!! Most people don't plan or budget themselves with it comes to doing a PROPER swap. So it doesn't come out the way it should. Planned, neatly tucked and properly routed wires etc. Details of the build and receipts to show, and have documentation. An M50 is a waste of time and money. For a bit more $ you would have been better off with an S52. At least you'd have significant gains. Amd you can brag it has an "M" engine.

Bullet Ride
09-02-2011, 09:56 AM
i'd like to say

my m20 was a beautiful engine. i miss its sound. i did an m50 swap because i wanted to...there was nothing wrong with my m20

You want it back? I still have it minus the oil pan :P

El Gato Liso
09-02-2011, 11:55 AM
well i guess i lucked out with m50 swap i basically did the swap for about 600$ engine and oilpan included. finding the parts wasnt hard at all.

i still think a vanos m50 is so worth the swap.

and sure ill take it back. as long as it comes turbo since thats all it will take for me to ever reconsider an m20 again ;)

voluted
09-02-2011, 01:59 PM
The cost of an S52 converted to OBD1 (which is how most people swap them in) when all is said and done is going to be 4k+. How is that saving a little extra money? That's like buying another e30 in mint shape. And sourcing the parts wasn't a headache for me at least; all of the challenges and work relating to the swap was FUN! I have to admit that my m50 has been less maintenance and more reliable than my m42 ever was, and with my driving style gets nearly the same fuel economy. I'm so glad I swapped in an m50tu in my DD.

johnnynapalm
09-04-2011, 11:02 AM
http://ontario.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehicles-cars-trucks-1992-BMW-325i-E30-RARE-MTECH-CONVERTIBLE-W0QQAdIdZ311302301

WiredRacing
09-07-2011, 12:43 AM
Yeah that white one is sick. But the price is more than I ever planned to spend on an E30. For the right person it's worth it though.

Vrbovsky
09-07-2011, 02:12 AM
Here is proof that mint e30s exist...

this was a total tear-down and rebuild. new fenders, new rear 1/4 panels new trunk, everything under the car has been replaced, from bushings to the rack.

I almost sold her a few weeks ago too, but some of the board members pulled me back from the edge of insanity! *th-up*

johnnynapalm
09-07-2011, 04:30 PM
I've dropped the price on mine....wife thinks I will regret it...I'm sure she's right

http://kitchener.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehicles-cars-trucks-1992-BMW-325i-RARE-MTECH-CONVERTIBLE-E30-NEW-PRICE-W0QQAdIdZ312265060